Replacement for Andrew Pollock to sit in Grampian and the Highlands and Islands is announced
Margaret Neilson appointed as new sheriff in the north
A new sheriff has been appointed to sit in courts in Grampian and the Highlands and Islands.
Margaret Neilson will replace Sheriff Alexander Pollock, who is to retire on July 21 after more than 15 years on the bench in the Highlands and north-east.
Sheriff Pollock sat in sheriff courts in Aberdeen and Elgin but has been based in Inverness since 2001.
He was also formerly the MP for Moray between 1979 and 1987.
Ms Neilson was appointed by the Queen after her nomination by First Minister Alex Salmond.
Ms Neilson, whose annual salary will be £128,296, will have a commission to serve throughout Scotland, but it is expected that she will mostly sit in the Sheriffdom of Grampian, Highlands and Islands.
She graduated from Edinburgh University in 1982 and gained a Diploma in Legal Practice from the same university the following year. She became a solicitor in 1984 and specialised in personal injury law.
Ms Neilson was a partner with Balfour Manson from 1987 until 2006.
Since then she has held various judicial appointments, including part-time sheriff, part-time employment judge, part-time immigration judge and part-time tribunal judge.